Three Winners Tell Us How They Raise Healthy Kids!

winnersI’ve gone through 50 single-spaced pages of contest entries, parents telling us their best stuff for how they raise kids to be healthy eaters. And I’m excited to announce I’m running the three winners here on the blog. They, and many others with great ideas, will be in my upcoming book, How to Eat Right In the Real World.

The winners are:

Janet Carter of Iona, Idaho

Shanda Blake of Saratoga Springs, Utah

Dr. Michelle Jorgenson of Highland, Utah

Shanda and Michelle won because of their extensive ideas, and sharing great recipes. I’ll share their entries next. Janet won not for quantity of ideas but because the idea she uses to organize her healthy eating, is BRILLIANT. I loved the photos, too, which help us understand exactly how her family does this. Enjoy!

Janet Carter 1
Janet Carter and family.

From Janet Carter of Iona, Idaho, mother to six children:

We established healthful meal traditions, one at a time, that developed into a 14-day menu that is full of everything we love.

It started with just making whole wheat pecan pancakes every Sunday after church. Then we added making Robyn’s granola for Monday mornings (found in 12 Steps to Whole Foods). Everyone looked forward to these so much (their favorite meals) that we decided, “Why can’t we have favorite meals every day?” It grew from there. Now we have 14 days of favorites.

Janet Carter 2We post a laminated 7-day menu (with pictures and recipes) on the cupboard doors in our kitchen with Velcro. We have a second set of 7 days of menus to attach for the second week.

We find it works because everyone can see what we are eating that day and what it looks like. They remember, “Oooh, yum! I love that!” It also makes it easy if I need one of the kids to make the next meal.

  1. We have an ingredients list for our menu that we shop for once a week. It takes the guess work out of the major project it is to prepare 21 meals per week for a family of 8, that include a huge variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.
  2. Janet Carter 3We have educational and inspirational healthful quotes up around the house. I didn’t make a big deal about it when I put them up. But I find my family pausing to read them! The quotes remind us why we eat this way, and what happens if we happen to fall back into the SAD (Standard American Diet) we used to eat. So we stay motivated
  3. We have found that when we make 3 healthful meals every day, instead of our old routine which was, “every man for himself,” our children are much happier and content. They don’t ask, “What is for dinner? I’m starving!”

And we don’t answer flippantly, “I’ll let you know when I decide.” Everyone knows what we are having, and they look forward to it. They don’t constantly ask for snacks. They know in a few hours, we are having another great meal. I was really surprised by this unexpected, amazing outcome. It creates so much security and is what motivates me to continue this way of eating.